COMM 1 - Public Speaking (5 units)


COMM 1-Public Speaking-Section 15Y--MW--1:30-3:20 p.m. L 45 

COMM 1-Public Speaking-Section 21Y--MW--3:30-5:20 p.m. L 45

Online Hour: Mondays and Wednesdays -- 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. 

Online Office Hour: Mondays & Wednesdays - 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Instructor: James Ahern

Phone: 408-864-8999 Ext: 3179


Faculty Web Site: 

Visit the Student Success Center: 

Materials: 4 by 6-inch note cards. 

Note: One additional hour to be arranged working in Cross Cultural Partners and/or use of the Listening and Speaking Lab. 

Note to Students with Disabilities: If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodations or services in this course, provide me with a Test Accommodation Verification Form (also known as a TAV form) from Disability Support Services (DSS) or the Educational Diagnostic Center (EDC). Students are expected to give five day notice of the need for accommodations. Students with disabilities can obtain a TAV form from their DSS counselor (864-8753 DSS main number TTY:408.864.8748) or EDC advisor (864-8839 EDC main number).

 Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Organize, compose, present, and critically evaluate informative and persuasive presentations appropriate in content and style to the audience and situation.

  • Display increasing confidence in speaking extemporaneously.

  • Demonstrate effective listening skills in various public speaking contexts.

  • Identify, locate, evaluate and use information technologies and information sources.

Course Objectives:

1. Examine historical and cultural traditions of public speaking in both domestic and global contexts and their impact on our views, beliefs, and practices relating to speaking in public.

2. Evaluate how making the decision to respect diversity, speak ethically, and think critically influences communication outcomes.

3. Demonstrate skills in analyzing diverse audiences and creating presentations appropriate to those audiences.

4. Research, analyze, organize, prepare, and evaluate informative and persuasive speeches.

5. Develop confidence in delivering speeches extemporaneously.

6.  Develop listening skills to foster respectful, reflective, and critical listening appropriate for public presentations.

Course Requirements:

1. Attendance and Participation: This class requires your attendance and participation for every class session. Because your role includes being a speaker, a listener, and an evaluator, your attendance and promptness are vital to this class. Students will be dropped for more than three (3) absences (excused or unexcused) and if absent during the first week of this course. School policy dictates: "The student must officially drop classes in which s/he no longer wishes to be enrolled." Students must attend the final class session. Two late class entries or two early class departures will count as one absence.

2. Reading Assignments: You will be responsible for assigned readings and will be called upon to participate in the class discussion. 

3. Written Assignments: Designated speeches must be accompanied by a typed, double-spaced full-sentence preparation outline that must be submitted to the instructor before a presentation. Five points will be deducted for late assignments. Written assignments must be submitted to the instructor and not e-mailed.

4. Speeches: There will be five graded speeches and other speech activities throughout the course. Five points will be deducted for each late speaking assignment. Students unable to speak on an assigned day should request another student to trade places to avoid losing five points. The instructor must be notified 24 hours in advance for any change of speaking dates.

5. Academic Dishonesty:Plagiarism or cheating may result in failing this course.

Speech Assignments:

1.Introductory speech of a classmate: not graded

Time limit: 2-3 minutes

2. Impromptu speech: 10-points

Time limit: 2-3 minutes

3. Demonstration speech: 50-points

Time limit: 4-6 minutes


Preparation Outline

4. Narrative speech: 50-points

Time limit: 4-6 minutes

Preparation Outline

5. Informative speech: 60-points

Time limit: 5-7 minutes


Preparation Outline

6. Final: Persuasive speech: 60-points

Time limit: 6-8 minutes

Preparation Outline

Audience analysis

Audience analysis synopsis

TOTAL: 230 points


Your final grade for the course will be based upon the following:

1. Speeches - 230 points

2. Preparation outlines - (4 @ 10 points each) 40 points

3. Self-critiques (2 @ ten points each) 20 points

4. Online assignments - (10 @ 1 points each) 10 points

TOTAL: 300 points



























Students are responsible for keeping track of their assigned grades throughout the duration of this course. There are no provisions for extra credit.  

NOTE: This course depends on your active participation and it will be as exciting, interesting, stimulating, and as fun, as the energy and enthusiasm that you bring to the class. The more you give, the more you will learn about your own strengths and limitations. You will also learn from and about your classmates and that you can be a part of their learning experience as well.

Wishing you all the best in the days ahead!

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